Category Archives: Hobbies

Bloxwich Model Railway Club exhibition this Saturday

Part of the 2014 Bloxwich exhibition
Part of the 2014 Bloxwich exhibition

This Saturday 21st May sees the seventh annual exhibition of the  popular Bloxwich (St. Johns) Model Railway Club, which is based at St John’s Methodist Church in Victoria Avenue, Bloxwich,  WS3 3HS.

Every element of a layout is painstakingly built up
Every element of a layout is painstakingly built up

The exhibition offers fun and fascination for young and old alike, showcasing a variety of layouts by invited guests with demonstrations and trade support, and most of the exhibits are appearing at Bloxwich (St John’s) for the first time.

The modellers' attention to detail can be amazing
The modellers’ attention to detail can be amazing

The exhibition is always well attended by exhibitors and modelling fans alike, and is a popular event on the Bloxwich calendar for all ages.

The exhibition, which is taking over the church and hall for the day, opens 10.00am – 4.30pm and admission costs £4 for adults, with concessions £3.50 and children  just £1.50.

Railway fun for all ages
Railway fun for all ages
List of Traders Attending : List of Layouts Attending :
Keith’s Model Railways
J & J Sales
12 Volts DC
Elaine’s Trains
Buffers Books
Minimum Gauge Models
Derby Trees
Kevin’s Trains
Shirley Harper Crafts
Deesle Park (00)
Pemberton (N)
Birchills (New) Junction (00)
Heath Green (00)
Bewdley (N)
Wansbeck Road (N)
Llantwy (009)
Nearleigh Works (0-16.5)
Motley Sub Shed (0)
Bettws Road (N)
Greenacre Yard
Journeys End (009)
Birkberg (H0e)
Fowlers Lane (0n30)
Brandeight (009)
Vigo Junction (00)
Board Street Sidings (00)
Franwood TMG (00)
List of Demonstrations : List of Other Displays :
Severn Models
Stuart Brasier
David Griffin
Ron Peach
Bloxwich (ST John’s)m.R.C. Club Stand
009 Society (Midlands)

For further information, contact the organisers on  07970 390258.

Pictures of past exhibitions shown here were taken by Stuart Williams of The Bloxwich Telegraph

Leamore learners unearth hidden gems

Jewellery Designer, Jolene Smith with one of her pieces
A jewellery designer from Walsall has spent the last six weeks helping learners at a college in Leamore to design and fabricate their own pieces of jewellery.

Artist Jolene Smith (above, right), who has been designing and making contemporary jewellery since 1984, has been supporting adult learners attending the Enterprise Jewellery Workshop at Walsall Adult & Community College (WACC).

The class is part of the college’s Learn for Living and Work Reablement Programme that helps learners to develop new skills and regain those they may have lost as a result of an illness, injury or trauma, such as a stroke.

Jolene, who has designed handmade jewellery for department store Harrods, as well as various gift shops in the Midlands, has supported the learners to use recycled materials to come up with a range of 12 unique designs.

Once each prototype was developed, the design was formed into a cast which can then be reproduced and sold as necklaces, brooches and earrings.

Jolene, who runs a number of workshops at Walsall Leather Museum and schools in the borough said she has been very impressed with the number of designs that the class has come up with.

“I’ve really enjoyed working with these wonderful people,” she said. “The workshop has given each learner the opportunity to discover their hidden talents and I’ve been impressed with the range of different designs they’ve come up with.”

Mary Evans, 85 from Bentley who attends the class, added: “It’s been very good and thoroughly enjoyable. Jolene’s a wonderful person and she has inspired me to come up with my own set of designs.

“I’d recommend the course to others to try.”

WACC logo

To find out more about the college’s Reablement Programme contact the college on 01922 663000, check out their website via this link or search for Walsall Adult & Community College on Facebook.

To find out more about Jolene Smith and her jewellery visit

Church chuffed at railway show success

Chris Hill operates his father John’s fictionalised ‘Sneyd Sidings’ layout, full little local touches and names redolent of old Bloxwich (Pix: S.Williams)

This year’s Bloxwich Model Railway Show took place last Saturday 14 May, and was a great success, judging both by the crowds attending and the substantial number of remarkably detailed working layouts on show.

Owner/operator Malcolm Davies and his fictionalised ‘Birchills Junction’ layout

Organised by St John’s Methodist Church, the church institute (hall) is usually the venue for the popular annual show, and this year the event also overflowed into the church itself.

Layouts scheduled to attend included Tremore (00), Upton (EM), Conyer Dewit (00), Ashburton (00), Birchills Junction (00), Peters Street (00), Rowley St. Giles (00), Kingshill (009), Bryngwern (5.5mm), Bewdley (N), Larkrise (N), Eyning Broad MPD (00), Tinker’s Green Halt (00), Hawthorn Mill (009), and many were photographed by The Bloxidge Tallygraph for this news story.

Robin Daley (10, right) joined forces with fellow West Bromwich Railway Model Club member John Brown-Rigg to operate ‘Meadley’, a layout built by Ian Miles

Most of the layouts were large, intricated and beautifully detailed in a variety of gauges (scales), from ‘N’ being the smallest locomotives and rolling stock, with scenery scaled down accordingly, up to the popular Hornby-originated standard gauge ‘OO’ which many of will have owned as children, but which are definitely not toys at today’s prices!

Two unusual standouts were HO (an American gauge slightly smaller than the British OO) and 09, a narrow gauge scale.  Both were unusual subjects compared to the rest of the displays as can be seen below.

New England in the fall? An atmospheric close-up of Chris Gilbert’s compact HO gauge layout based on ‘Haston, Vermont’, USA. See Flickr set (link below) for a view of the whole thing

‘Kingshill’, a fictionalised narrow-gauge layout ioperated by owner/builder Ben Powell (right) and Julien Webb, members of The 009 Society which specialises in narrow-gauge railway modelling

Many layouts were long but not so deep, and most had to be transported in sections before reassembly on tables.  This was taken to extremes in the extensive N-gauge ‘Bewdley’ layout, for example, which packed an enormous amount of track into a long but relatively narrow space.

L to R: Nick Simons, Olley Reading and young Harry Brazier (6), members of the Telford Railway Modellers Group, operate the massive n-gauge ‘Bewdley’ layout based on the Severn Valley Railway

Some layouts were smaller, one or two being short but very creatively designed to show just a small section of a line, with exceptional 3D-layering when viewed at eye-level with the potential to be wall-mounted, such as the ‘Haston, Vermont’ layout above and the ‘Tremore’ layout below.

Owner/operator Nick Palette shows off his compact yet detailed ‘Tremore’ layout in the church hall

There were also a number of interesting model-making demonstrations plus trade model and book sales stands as well as a tombola and fundraising stalls.

Proceeds from the event were in aid of St John’s Church funds, and judging by the amount of enthusiasm both for participating in and viewing the shows, it seems its future as an annual event in the model railway calendar is ensured, putting Bloxwich on the modelling map, whatever the  scale!


A Flickr set of photographs of this event may be viewed and downloaded via this link.


The exhibition was so enthusiastically received that the formation of a new Bloxwich (St John’s) Model Railway Club will also now go ahead, and will meet at the church in Victoria Avenue every Thursday between 2pm-4.30pm.

Contact: John Hill, Tel: 01922 475557 or 07970 390258, and by email to:

For more about St. John’s Methodist Church, see their website.

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